Who wrote the Koran?


#1

One argument in favor of the Koran being the word of God that I have heard used is that Mohammed, being illeterate, could not have written it without Divine intercession. But then I read this (admittedly on wikipedia):

The Qur’anic revelations were originally memorised by Muhammad’s companions as Muhammad spoke them, with some being written down by one or more companions on whatever was at hand, from stones to pieces of bark. Compilations of the Qur’an began under the Caliph Umar, but it was Uthman who decided upon a definitive copy and destroyed all other versions that had resulted from the differences of pronounciation of the words.

If this is the case, then what does Mohammed’s illeteracy have to do with anything?


#2

That’s interesting. I’ve heard so many stories on this. I know a gentleman who was cultural minister in Kuwait before the invasion. His belief was that Muhammed had a Chrisitan tutor/advisor and that he got most of his doctrine from what he was taught by him. As too how he got it wrote down I don’t know. Do we know he was illiterate at all? If he married into a wealthy family I would have thought he would have learned to write by then at least.

I could be wrong though. I’m kind of a fan of Arabic poetry so I might just have it stuck in my mind that they have always been a very literate people.


#3

Hmm… you may be right. But for whatever reason, it seems that he dictated what he believed were GOd’s words and others wrote them down. I have heard many muslims say he couldn’t write, but I don’t know where that belief comes from. I did read that the earliest biographies of him were written more than 100 years after his death.


#4

Valke2, I am searching for the thread on this that I think InJesus did, but it may have been lost in the crash:(

If I find it I’ll post it here for you (the link)

I have to say from what I remember the Muslim stand on this is that he was illiterate and that was because he was so humble and spent his time on more important things so , I hope a Muslim can post since I really forgot a lot about that thread.


#5

Now that I think about it though, the idea that others wrote down what he said or interpretations of what he said makes some sense. Islam in many ways seems to be a reconstruction of culture.

Most religions tend to hold to a core set of beliefs but are usally practiced through cultural expressions. Islam though has a tendancy to change the cultures it enters. A good portion of Mediteranean culture was rather Greek in culture before the coming of islam. Today though it is an obvious extention of “Arabic” culture.

Could it be possible that Muhammed may have just wanted to solidify and galvanize his homeland? While his followers wrote down certain discussions and sermons of his and then saw it all as a call too make the world in the image that Muhammed had created?

I’m sorry I think I might be derailing your thread here.


#6

It is not at all easy to give an accurate answer to this question because of the many discrepancies in Mohammed’s book about its formation. Although most verses in the Quran clearly state that it was revealed from Allah into Mohammed’s heart word by word, there is a certain verse defining the Islamic Scripture as the word of the “Messenger”. Most Muslim commentators claim that the word “Messenger” in the verses above refers to Archangel Gabriel, but the context makes it apparent that Mohammed was in question:

69: 38-47 . But nay! I swear by all that ye see And all that ye see not That it is indeed the speech of an illustrious messenger. It is not poet’s speech - little is it that ye believe!
Nor diviner’s speech - little is it that ye remember! It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. And if he had invented false sayings concerning Us, We assuredly had taken him by the right hand And then severed his life-artery, And not one of you could have held Us off from him.

It is a traditional belief in Islam that Mohammed was illiterate since such a disparaging claim is worked by Muslims to the benefit of the Quran as a sign of its reliability and divine origin. A verse in the Quran emphasizes that Mohammed was unable to read, and the reason underlying his illiteracy was Allah’s will to cease the doubt of unbelievers:

29: 48. And thou (O Muhammad) wast not a reader of any scripture before it, nor didst thou write it with thy right hand, for then might those have doubted, who follow falsehood.

As for those blaming Mohammed for copying from the Jewish and Christian Scripture, the Quran confesses that Mohammed knew neither the faith nor the Scripture before the so-called revelation (dictation):

42: 52. And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! thou verily dost guide unto a right path.

In accordance with the belief in Mohammed’s illiteracy, Muslims generally believe that the revealtion of the Quran began with the opening verse of the 96th chapter. To depict the process of revelation as a miraculous event in Mohammed’s life, Allah’s first command to Mohammed is believed to be “read” (recite):

**96: 1-5 ** Read: In the name of thy Lord Who createth, Createth man from a clot. Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous, Who teacheth by the pen, Teacheth man that which he knew not.

It is easy to infer from the following verse in the Quran that Mohammed also faced another accusation about the origin of his scripture. The Quran seems to put forward a weak argument against the unbelievers while denying that someone other than Allah taught Mohammed the Quran:

16: 103 And We know well that they say: Only a man teacheth him. The speech of him at whom they falsely hint is outlandish, and this is clear Arabic speech.

Finally, Mohammed claims the Quran was written on “honored” leaves by noble scribes. These scribes could be humans or angels (some translations prefer angelic scribes though):

80:12-16. So let whosoever will pay heed to it, On honoured leaves Exalted, purified, (Set down) by scribes Noble and righteous.

Peace to all,
Angelos N.


#7

On the Islam Review website, I read that Muhammed and his followers all died before anything he taught was written down. This site claims it was up to the caliphate and his wives, among others, to recall what Muhammed had said and done and write them down. And according to this site, there were several revisions

THE INVENTION OF THE QURAN

In these existing conditions, Muhammad started inventing his own religion after 610 A.D. when he appointed himself as Allah’s apostle and messenger, as stated in the Quran (not as a prophet) and claimed that the Angel Gabriel ordered him thus (without any witnesses to his claim). Muhammad gathered a concoction of about 10% of Babylonian Talmud (not the Torah of Judaism, but with numerous errors/etc); about 5% of Christianity (a few parts of the Gospel, but distorted and erroneous, probably gathered from Mary his Coptic slave, and Waraqa, his wife Khadija’s Christian cousin, and during his travels to Syria); about 25% of existing Hindu temples/Allah/idols/rituals and beliefs in Saudi Arabia. (The word ‘Allah’ is a Sanskrit word and in truth, there is no Islamic Allah); about 10% of Animism (spirits, demons, Jinns, devils, spirits, etc) gathered from existing Arab folklore and mythical tales; about 10% of Arabic traditions and culture, and 40% of Muhammad and his companions’ own barbaric creations, to make up Islam, his new religion. Since Muhammad and his several hundred companions were completely illiterate (could not read or write) and Muhammad had a poor memory; thus, his companions memorized for him the Quranic verses they plagiarized/concocted. But in the battle of Yamamah, almost all his companions were killed and the original Quranic verses were lost forever and was never compiled in writing before Muhammad himself was killed by food poisoning in 632 A.D. by a Jewish slave, who said, “If you are a true Apostle, Allah would have saved you”. Caliph Abu Bakr (632-634A.D.) then entrusted Zayed Ibn Thabit to compile the Quran, from memories of Muhammad’s illiterate wives, concubines, slaves, and a few contacts; who claimed to have heard Muhammad and his companions utter various verses. Zayed managed to gather an estimated 7,900 verses. But this first compilation of the Quran, with numerous contradictions, ridicule, confusions, and errors, created a lot of trouble and huge problems arose over the years. Under the caliphate of Uthman (644-656 A.D.), he was compelled to withdraw all the distributed, handwritten copies of the Qurans and burnt them. Zayed was again ordered for the second time, to recompile and re-edit the Quran more sensibly and convincingly from his original Quran, kept with Hafsa (Muhammad’s widow). Zayed did the best he could in re-editing the Quran and more than 2,000 contradictory, confusing, erroneous and illogical verses were abrogated (cancelled), some were replaced, and others added/borrowed to make sense of the cancellations/replacements. This re-edited Quran in Sura 16:101-103 says Arabs accused a Christian slave of teaching Muhammad and was persecuted, and 25:4-5 confirms accusations of borrowing stories from Folktales, and Fables by the then Arabs. Abu Al-Aswad Al Doaly put dots as syntactical marks, during the time of Mu’awiya Ibn Abi Sufian (661-680 A.D). The letters were marked with different dotting by Nasr Ibn Asem and Hayy ibn Ya’amor, during the time of Abd Al-Malek Ibn Marawan (685-705 A.D). A complete system of diacritical marks, (damma, fataha, kasra,), were newly created by Al Khaleel Ibn Ahmad Al Faraheedy (d. 786 A.D). Now the Quran stands at only 6,241 verses today from its original 7,900. But given the circumstances prevailing in those days and the fact that compiling from various uneducated peoples’ memories, etc; this concocted manmade Quran, still have a lot of contradictions, confusions, absurdities, illogicalities, ridicule, errors, unscientific theories, etc. (For details, see ‘A dialogue between a Christian and a Muslim about the Quran’ and ‘A balanced understanding of Islam’ in this website). So a lot of people did have a hand in inventing the Quran. Thus, the bulk of the verses of today’s Quran, are actually from Muhammad’s wives, concubines, temporary wives, slaves and was edited by Zayed Ibn Thabit (it has nothing to do with God).


#8

excellent Post Eden.:thumbsup:


#9

The miraculous nature of the Koran (if I am understanding your question correctly) evidently lies in the fact that, according to Arabic speakers, it is considered to be a very high class Arabic literature. Its literary qualities are said to be unsurpassed by anything that has been written in Arabic before it or since. So claim (and has always been claimed by) the Arabic speakers and scholars, including independent Western scholars. I don’t speak the language myself, so I can’t vouch for that; but this is (and has always been) the near unanimous claim of Moslems men of letters throughout Islamic history. The miracle claim arises from the consideration that Mohamed being illiterate, could not have produced a work of literature of this calibre without divine intervention.

zerinus


#10

Taken from Quranic studies:

“It is an incontrovertible historical truth that the text of the Holy Qur’an extant today is, syllable for syllable, exactly the same as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had offered to the world as the Word of God. After the demise of the Holy Prophet, the first Caliph Hadhrat Abu Bakr (PBUH) assembled all the Huffaz and the written records of the Holy Qur’an and with their help had the whole text written in Book form. In the time of Hadhrat 'Uthman (PBUH) copies of this original version were made and officially dispatched to the Capitals of the Islamic World. Two of these copies exist in the world today, one in Istanbul and the other in Tashkent. Whosoever is so inclined may compare any printed text of the Holy Qur’an with those two copies, he shall find no variation. And how can one expect any discrepancy, when there have existed several million Huffaz in every generation since the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and in our own time? Should anyone alter a syllable of the original text of the Qur’an, these Huffaz would at once expose the mistake” More reading

Salaam.
Joseph.


#11

The following excerpt was taken from Walter Short’s comprehensive study on the Islamic Scripture:

THE QUR’AN’S MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE:

A manuscript analysis of the Qur’an does present us with unique problems not encountered with the Bible. While we can find multiple manuscripts for the Bible written 700-900 years earlier, at a time when durable paper was not even used, the manuscripts for the Qur’an within the century in which it was purported to have been compiled, the seventh century, simply do not exist. Prior to 750 A.D. (thus for 100 years after Muhammad’s death) we have no verifiable Muslim documents which can give us a window into this formative period of Islam (Wansbrough 1978:58-59). In fact the primary sources which we possess are from 150-300 years after the events which they describe, and therefore are quite distant from those events (Nevo 1994:108; Wansbrough 1978:119; Crone 1987:204). For that reason they are, for all practical purposes, secondary sources, as they rely on other material, much of which no longer exists. We simply do not have any “account from the Islamic’ community during the [initial] 150 years or so, between the first Arab conquests [the early 7th century] and the appearance, with the sira-maghazi narratives, of the earliest Islamic literature” [the late 8th century] (Wansbrough 1978:119).

We should expect to find, in those intervening 150 years, at least remnants of evidence for the development of the old Arab religion towards Islam (i.e. Muslim traditions); yet we find nothing (Nevo 1994:108; Crone 1980:5-8). The documentary evidence at our disposal, prior to 750 A.D. “consists almost entirely of rather dubious citations in later compilations” (Humphreys 1991:80). Consequently, we have no reliable proof that the later Muslim traditions speak truly of the life of Muhammad, or even of the Qur’an (Schacht 1949:143-154). In fact we have absolutely no evidence for the original Qur’anic text (Schimmel 1984:4). Nor do we have any of the alleged four copies which were made of this recension and sent to Mecca, Medina, Basra and Damascus (see Gilchrist’s arguments in his book Jam’ al-Qur’an, 1989, pp. 140-154, as well as Ling’s & Safadi’s The Qur’an 1976, pp. 11-17).

Even if these copies had somehow disintegrated with age (as some Muslims now allege), there would surely be some fragments of the documents which we could refer to. By the end of the seventh century Islam had expanded from Spain in the west to India in the east. The Qur’an (according to tradition) was the centrepiece of their faith. Certainly within that enormous sphere of influence there would be some Qur’anic documents or manuscripts which still exist till this day. Yet, there is nothing anywhere from that period at all.

With the enormous number of manuscripts available for the Christian scriptures, all compiled long before the time Muhammad was born, it is incredible that Islam cannot provide a single corroborated manuscript of their most holy book from even within a century of their founder’s birth.

(1) Sammarkand and Topkapi MSS; Kufic and Ma’il Scripts:

In response, Muslims contend that they do have a number of these “Uthmanic recensions,” these original copies from the seventh century, still in their possession. There are two documents which do hold some credibility, and to which many Muslims refer. These are the Samarkand Manuscript, which is located in the Tashkent library, Uzbekistan (in the southern part of the former Soviet Union), and the Topkapi Manuscript, which can be found in the Topkapi Museum, in Istanbul, Turkey.

These two documents are indeed old, and there has been ample etymological analysis done on them by scriptologists, as well as experts in Arabic calligraphy to warrant their discussion. What most Muslims do not realize is that these two manuscripts are written in the Kufic Script, a script which according to modern Qur’anic manuscript experts, such as Martin Lings and Yasin Hamid Safadi, did not appear until late into the eighth century, and was not in use at all in Mecca and Medina in the seventh century (Lings & Safadi 1976:12-13,17; Gilchrist 1989:145-146; 152-153).

The reasons for this are quite simple. Consider: The Kufic script, properly known as al-Khatt al-Kufi, derives its name from the city of Kufa in Iraq (Lings & Safadi 1976:17). It would be rather odd for this script to have been adopted as the official script for the “mother of all books” as it is a script which had its origins in a city that had only been conquered by the Arabs a mere 10-14 years earlier.

It is important to note that the city of Kufa, which is in present day Iraq, was a city which would have been Sassanid or Persian before that time (637-8 A.D.). Thus, while Arabic would have been known there, it would not have been the predominant language, let alone the predominant script until much later.

BTW: Welcome Joseph, glad to see u back :slight_smile:


#12

We know in fact, that the Kufic script reached its perfection during the late eighth century (up to one hundred and fifty years after Muhammad’s death) and thereafter it became widely used throughout the Muslim world (Lings & Safadi 1976:12,17; Gilchrist 1989:145-146). This makes sense, since after 750 A.D. the Abbasids controlled Islam, and due to their Persian background were headquartered in the Kufa and Baghdad areas. They would thus have wanted their script to dominate. Having been themselves dominated by the Umayyads (who were based in Damascus) for around 100 years, it would now be quite understandable that an Arabic script which originated in their area of influence, such as the Kufic script would evolve into that which we find in these two documents mentioned here.

Therefore, it stands to reason that both the Topkapi and Samarkand Manuscripts, because they are written in the Kufic script, could not have been written earlier than 150 years after the Uthmanic Recension was supposedly compiled; at the earliest the late 700s or early 800s (Gilchrist 1989:144-147).

We do know that there were two earlier Arabic scripts which most modern Muslims are not familiar with. These are the al-Ma’il Script, developed in the Hijaz, particularly in Mecca and Medina, and the Mashq Script, also developed in Medina (Lings & Safadi 1976:11; Gilchrist 1989:144-145). The al-Ma’il Script came into use in the seventh century and is easily identified, as it was written at a slight angle (see the example on page 16 of Gilchrist’s Jam’ al-Qur’an, 1989). In fact the word al-Ma’il means “slanting.” This script survived for about two centuries before falling into disuse.

The Mashq Script also began in the seventh century, but continued to be used for many centuries. It is more horizontal in form and can be distinguished by its somewhat cursive and leisurely style (Gilchrist 1989:144). There are those who believe that the Mashq script was a forerunner to the later Kufic script, as there are similarities between the two.

If the Qur’an had been compiled at this time in the seventh century, then one would expect it to have been written in either the Ma’il or Mashq script.

Interestingly, we do have a Qur’an written in the Ma’il script, and considered to be the earliest Qur’an in our possession today. Yet it is not found in either Istanbul or Tashkent, but, ironically, it resides in the British Museum in London (Lings & Safadi 1976:17,20; Gilchrist 1989:16,144). It has been dated towards the end of the eighth century (790 A.D.) by Martin Lings, the former curator for the manuscripts of the British Museum, who is himself, a practising Muslim.

Therefore, with the help of script analysis, we are quite certain that there is no known manuscript of the Qur’an which we possess today which can be dated from the seventh century (Gilchrist 1989:147-148,153).

Furthermore, virtually all the earliest Qur’anic manuscript fragments which we do possess cannot be dated earlier than 100 years after the time of Muhammad. In her book Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, Annemarie Schimmel underlines this point when she states that apart from the recently discovered [Korans] in Sanaa, “the earliest datable fragments go back to the first quarter of the eighth century.” (Schimmels 1984:4)

From the evidence we possess, therefore, it would seem improbable that any portions of the Qur’an supposedly copied out at Uthman’s direction have survived. What we are left with is the intervening 150 years for which we cannot account.


#13

An Internal Critique of the Qur’an
While Muslims hold a high view for all Scriptures, including the Old and New Testaments, they demand a unique and supreme position for the Qur’an, claiming its ascendancy over all other scriptures, because, according to them, initially, it was never written down by men and so was never tainted with men’s thoughts or styles. For reasons such as this it is often referred to as the “Mother of Books” (taken from sura 43:3-4).

C1: The Qur’an’s Makeup

Muslims claim that the superiority of the Qur’an over all other revelations is due to its sophisticated structure and eloquent literary style. They quote from suras 10:37-38, 2:23, or 17:88, which say:
“Will they say Muhammad hath forged it?’ Answer: Bring there- fore a chapter like unto it, and call whom ye may to your assistance, besides Allah, if ye speak truth.’ This boast is echoed in the Hadith (Mishkat III, pg.664), which says: The Qur’an is the greatest wonder among the wonders of the world… This book is second to none in the world according to the unanimous decision of the learned men in points of diction, style, rhetoric, thoughts and soundness of laws and regulations to shape the destinies of mankind.”

C1a: Inimitability

Muslims conclude that since there is no literary equivalent in existence, this proves that the Qur’an is a miracle sent down from God, and not simply written by any one man. It is this inimitability (uniqueness), termed i’jaz in Arabic, which Muslims believe proves its divine authorship and thus its status as a miracle, and confirms Muhammad’s role as well as the veracity of Islam (Rippin 1990:26).

Yet, the Qur’an itself presents doubts as to its early formulation, and certainly creates suspicion concerning its inimitability. In fact we know that it wasn’t until the end of the tenth century that the idea of inimitability took its fullest expression, mainly in response to the Christian polemical writings of that time (Rippin 1990:26).

There are certain Muslims who wonder whether the question of inimitability is at all appropriate for the Qur’an. C.G. Pfander, the scholar on Islam, pointed out in 1835 that, “It is by no means the universal opinion of unprejudiced Arabic scholars that the literary style of the Qur’an is superior to that of all other books in the Arabic language. Some doubt whether in eloquence and poetry it surpasses the Mu’allaqat by Imraul Quais, or the Maqamat of Hariri, though in Muslim lands few people are courageous enough to express such an opinion.” (Pfander 1835:264)

Pfander elaborates by comparing the Qur’an with the Bible. He states, “When we read the Old Testament in the original Hebrew, many scholars hold that the eloquence of Isaiah, Deuteronomy, and many of the Psalms, for instance, is greater than that of any part of the Qur’an. Hardly anyone but a Muslim would deny this, and probably no Muslim who knew both Arabic and Hebrew well would be able to deny it.” (Pfander 1835:266)

tbc…


#14

C1b: Structural weaknesses

A comparison with the Bible brings other problems to light. When anyone familiar with the Bible begins to read the Qur’an it is immediately apparent that the Qur’an is an entirely different kind of literature, whatever its poetic merits.
Whereas the Bible contains much historical narrative, the Qur’an contains very little. Whereas the Bible goes out of its way to explain unfamiliar terminology or territory, the Qur’an remains silent. In fact, the very structure of the Bible, consisting of a library of 66 books, written over a period of 1,500 years reveals that it is ordered according to chronology, subject and theme.

The Qur’an, on the other hand, reads more like a jumbled and confused collection of statements and ideas, many of which bear little relationship to preceding chapters and verses. Many scholars admit that the Qur’an is so haphazard in its make-up that it requires the utmost sense of duty for anyone to plough through it!

The German secular scholar Salomon Reinach in his rather harsh analysis states that:

“From the literary point of view, the Koran has little merit. Declamation, repetition, puerility, a lack of logic and coherence strike the unprepared reader at every turn. It is humiliating to the human intellect to think that this mediocre literature has been the subject of innumerable commentaries, and that millions of men are still wasting time in absorbing it.” (Reinach 1932:176)

In a similar vein, McClintock and Strong’s encyclopedia maintains that:
"The matter of the [Koran] is exceedingly incoherent and sen- tentious, the book evidently being without any logical order of thought either as a whole or in its parts. This agrees with the desultory and incidental manner in which it is said to have been delivered. (McClintock and Strong 1981:151)

C1c: Literary defects

Even the former Muslim scholar Dashti laments the literary defects of the Qur’an, saying, “Unfortunately the Qur’an was badly edited and its contents are very obtusely arranged.” He concludes that, “All students of the Qur’an wonder why the editors did not use the natural and logical method of ordering by date of revelation, as in Ali ibn Taleb’s lost copy of the text.” (Dashti 1985:28)

Upon reading the suras of the Qur’an one soon realizes that it is not chronological. According to tradition the longest chapters which are at the beginning are those which were delivered later, and the shortest chapters found at the end are considered to be the oldest. Yet these same traditions tell us that there are certain suras which contain both early and late revelations. Thus it is difficult to know whether any statement in the Qur’an is early or late.

Another problem is that of repetition. The Qur’an, we are told, was intended to be memorized by those who were illiterate and uneducated. It therefore engages in the principle of endless repetition of the same material (Morey 1992:113). This all leads to a good bit of confusion for the novice reader, and seems to point to a style reminiscent of the storytellers mentioned earlier.

tbc…


#15

The Qur’an has other literary difficulties. “The subject matter within individual chapters jumps from one topic to the next, with duplications and apparent inconsistencies in grammar, law and theology also abound” (Rippin 1990:23). The language is semi-poetical, while its grammar, due to omission, is so elliptical as to be often obscure and ambiguous. There is grammatical discord (such as the use of plural verbs with singular subjects), and variations in the treatment of the gender nouns (for examples, see suras 2:177; 3:59; 4:162; 5:69; 7:160; and 63:10) (Rippin 1990:28). Many times the sentences leave verbs out, and it assumes the reader is well informed. It has few explanations and consequently it is difficult to read.

These aren’t the only structural problems. Patricia Crone points out that, “within blocks of verses trivial dislocations are surprisingly frequent. God may appear in the first and third persons in one and the same sentence. There may be omissions, which if not made good by interpretation, render the sense unintelligible.” (Cook 1983:68)

In response to these accusations, the theologian-grammarian al-Rummani (d.996 A.D.) argued that the ellipses and grammatical irregularities were really positive rhetorical devices rather than evidence of rushed or sloppy writing (Rippin 1990:27). This sort of argument is almost impossible to evaluate, however, due to the lack of any contemporaneous secular literature with which to compare. It leaves the “argument a dogmatic one…but one which operates (like many other religious arguments) within the presupposition of Islam alone.” (Rippin 1990:27)

None the less there have been attempts by non-Muslims to rebut the above contention by exposing the true reason for these irregularities. Al-Kindi, a Christian polemicist employed in the Caliphal court, had discussions with Muslims as early as 830 A.D. (thus soon after what I believe was the Qur’an’s canonization). He seemed to understand the agenda of the Muslims at that time. Anticipating the claim by Muslims that the Qur’an itself was proof for its divine inspiration he responded by saying:

“The result of all of this [process by which the Qur’an came into being] is patent to you who have read the scriptures and see how, in your book, histories are all jumbled together and intermingled; an evidence that many different hands have been at work therein, and caused discrepancies, adding or cutting out whatever they liked or disliked. Are such, now, the conditions of a revelation sent down from heaven?” (Muir 1882:18-19,28)

Interestingly, Al-Kindi’s pronouncement as early as the ninth century agrees with the conclusion of Wansbrough over eleven hundred years later; both maintaining that the Qu’ran is the result of a haphazard compilation by later redactors a century or more after the event (Wansbrough 1977:51).

Peace,
Angelos N.


#16

Yusef;

It is interesting that since the late 1800s radical Islamists have been tightening their grip on the early years of the development of Islam through the Koran. Since the 1950s the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been funding schools throughout the Moslem world to ensure that the party line is taught: Islam is the one, true religion; all non-believers are infidels; Abraham was really the father of Islam.

It is also interesting to note the many similarities between Islam and Mormonism (this is for you Zerinus). Both claim angelic dictation of a revealed text; both claim primacy of doctrine with God/Allah; both are extreme in their patriarchal authority; both claim as their founder an illiterate man; both had their ‘Paul’ who set the sect on its path of active proselytization: though under the sword for Islam and only burning-in-my-bosom white shirt and tie wearing twin bicyclists for Mormonism.

Recent research by Lebanonese, German and Egyptian Semitic and Arabic language scholars has shed a light on the Koran’s origins that no doubt will raise the radical Islamist cry of ‘Infidel!’ and ‘Jihad!’


#17

The Koran’s Origins

Contrary to the party line the Koran was not dictated to Mohammed by an angel nor was it written on stones and leaves and whatever else was lying around at the time of Mohammed’s recitations.

The Koran as we have it now (based upon the Cairo manuscript of 1923-24 which is without the vowel, or diacritical, marks) is a perversion of a Syrio-Aramaic Lectionary used by Syrian Catholics to teach and prosletyze Arabs in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.

There is no Arabic literature before the Koran. This is so because the language was not a written language, it was still developing (like Hebrew developed from Aramaic) in those centuries.

Let me repeat something very important: when the Koran was composed (according to Islamic dates) Arabic did not exist as a written language. Neither did English for that matter. Aramaic was the language, the lingua franca, of Western Asia in the 4th through the 7th centuries.

Islamic tradition dates the Koran back to the 7th century but the first examples of Arabic literature are found 2 centuries later. That’s two hundred years after the fact. And this was in a book entitled, “Biography of the Prophet” as written by Ibn Hisham, who died in 828 AD.

Christoph Luxenberg’s book The Virgins and the Grapes: the Christian Origins of the Koran was published in 2000. A review of it can be found at the HUGOYA: a Journal of Syriac Studies website.

In essence, the methodology is laid out, his sources (including the commentary by Tabari who was the earliest Koranic scholar to note the inconsistencies and various manuscripts extant) are cited, and examples are given where the khalifa uthman ibn Affan went wrong with his translation of the Koran.

An example is a passage in Sura 24, verse 31, which in Arabic reads, ‘That they should beat their khumurs against their bags.’ Luxenberg contends (and I agree) that this is an incomprehensible phrase for which many interpretations have been given. Using his methodology (Cairo consonantal text with Sibawwayh’s [d. 796 AD] classical Arabic grammar) this text is shown to have said, ‘They should fasten their belts around their waist.’

The most famous (infamous?) one is the *houris *or virgins promised to the suicide bombers.

In the revised Koran (a word itself which is derived from the Syriac word qeryana, which means ‘lectionary’), the derivation for huri from the Syrio-Aramaic translates the word as ‘white grapes,’ which is one of the symbolic elements of the Christian paradise, recalled in the last supper of Jesus. There’s another Koranic expression, falsely interpreted as ‘the children’ or ‘the youths’ of paradise; but in Aramaic it designates the fruit of the vine which in the Koran is compared to pearls.

The review in HUGOYE is extremely important and enlightening as to the true origins of the Koran.

Pax Christi Yusef and Zerinus


#18

I don’t see the relevance of what you have written to my post (or Valke’s). He had asked a simple and straightforward question to which he evidently did not know the answer. I happened to know that answer (because I have actually studied a bit about Islam), so I gave him the answer. Your post neither answers his question, nor negates my answer. :confused:

zerinus


#19

It’s a two parter, Zerinus, I address you in it because of your defense of Mormonism (this is a Catholic website, I believe) and your criticism of Catholic doctrine and belief.

Also, I would like you to address the similarities between Islam and your religion: this would throw great light upon the problems with both in light of mainstream Christian belief.

Again, read and answer.

Pax Christi


#20

Maybe he will respond if you start a new thread, just a thought.

BTW- on this day I especially wish everyone much Love and peace.

Mary is the connection that should be recalled here today., in her honor lets keep this in mind!:slight_smile:


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